SRINAGAR -- Jammu and Kashmir government yesterday ruled out ban on sale or trade of liquor in the state, saying there is freedom of choice and decisions cannot be enforced on others.
"There is a demand for banning liquor but I believe that the issue needs to be addressed on the basis of freedom of choice," Minister for Finance Haseeb Drabu said while speaking during the Zero Hour in the Legislative Council.
"As a state policy, we cannot enforce our decisions on others, there is a freedom of choice and let the people decide what they want to do," Drabu said.
He said "let us live in free society where the choice of one is not enforced on the others."
"It is same as if a person wants to be vegetarian, at the same time he cannot ban non-vegetarian food," Drabu said, adding besides Jammu and Kashmir is a tourist state.
The government's rejection of demand for ban on liquor in the Muslim-majority state comes at a time when some religious groups and civil societies are pitching for a complete ban on the trade, sale and consumption of liquor.
"I believe self-restrain is important in this regard and let individuals decide for themselves rather than government banning it," the minister said.
Drabu also said the issue of influx of spurious liquor is a cause of concern and the state government would take measures to curb it.
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